T Nation

Bulk a month/Cut a month?

Hi folks,

It would suit me this year to follow a bulk-for-a-month then-cut-for-a-month strategy. As opposed to asking “Is this the best way possible?” let me ask the question: “Am I shooting myself in the foot?”

Have I missed anything obvious or will this work? Any other thoughts on the subject? Goal is to add about 20+ lbs of muscle and drop 5% BF by the 1st of August.

Thanks.

It wouldn’t be the optimum way of bulking OR cutting.

For bulking, you obviously will be gaining a certain additional amount of LBM (or at least, you would hope to). Afterwards, you need to maintain that additional bodyweight. If you were to diet down right away, you’d lose it. So, I wouldn’t recommend bulking for a month and then cutting for a month. You’d be in this continual cycle of…going nowhere perhaps?

You know, I’m going to ask you something. And this is directed to anyone else here that is rather new to this site: Have you read any of the articles T-Mag has archived as well as in
“this week’s issue”? Or even the FAQ?

Alot of links to good answers regarding bulking and cutting are in the FAQ alone. You just need to read them. ;-))

Give it a try and see,you have to try different things to see what your body responds to,just remember everyone is different,and what works for one,person may not work for another.

If I were you I would bulk massive eating style using 3-4 carb/pro meals per day for 4-6 weeks. Then keep your calories high but slightly lower than bulking, drop a couple of carb meals and replace with P/F. Time your carb meals around your workout, PWO shake and one post WO carb meal per day. Add in two sessions of cardio (preferably HIIT) per week and 15 min of moderate cardio after your weights. Do this for another month and solidify some of your gains before cutting. I havn’t done my cut yet but some of the fat I gained durring my bulk is comming off nicely. Durring the second phase I would practice a low rep max weights approach. Hope this helps.

Well, first of all, you have some very lofty goals - gaining 20 lbs of muscle and dropping 5% bodyfat? Are you attempting to do this clean?

What are your current ststs? I’d like to see how many pounds of fat you’d have to lose to drop 5% bodyfat. Actually, technically, if you gained 20 lbs of muscle with no concomitant increase in bodyfat, right there you’d have a decrease in your actual bodyfat percentage.

Either way, I’ll second Pat’s comments. I don’t think you’re plan to alternate phases on a monthly basis is wise. You may very well end up ‘spinning your wheels’. You’re giving yourself 6 months to do this, which means with 3 months of ‘bulking’, you’d have to be consistently gaining over 1 1/2 lbs of muscle per week - not too likely.

See another thread called “How Much Is Too Much?”. In that thread there are recommendations to systematically increase calories until you start to gain, as opposed to starting an all out bulking phase. I think you’ll be more pleased with that approach.

Oh, and what Patricia said - do some more reading.

Ouch! Burned by the big boys.

Well, that’s my question answered. It was just a thought and obviously it sucks. Thanks to all that answered. Thanks especially to Patricia and Thunder.

I’ve been reading T-Mag for long time, at least 3 years. So if I can add a little advice to Patricia’s and Thunder’s:

Don’t Assume That Just Because You Read Regularly It’s All Sinking In. I’ll go on from here to take my own advice and reread the relevant things.

I’ll head over to that other thread, Thunder. Thanks again.

I’ll be honest, fly. While I’ve been reading T-Mag since early, 1999 and only a forum participant since 2001: I have not read all of the articles.

Ya know where I get and have gotten the majority of my knowledge? In the gym and in the kitchen. Best places to learn, IMO.

Yes, there’s alot of information to digest. However, you had your question and all you needed to do (and this is what I always do), is perform a search. The advice originally given was not meant as a flame but an encouragement. T-Mag is NOT made up of only this forum and a Biotest store. It seems lately, many think this way. And that’s sad.

Reminds me of the old ABCDE diet. Bulk for 2 weeks, cut for 2 weeks. It worked out badly for a lot of people. I got bigger and stronger but I think fatter too. The one good thing I can say about a plan like this is that you wont get bored since your always changing things up pretty often. But after a few cycles the whole thing gets old.
What would you guys say to doing something similar to what he was saying but making the bulking longer and the cutting shorter? Like six weeks of bulking followed buy 3 weeks of cutting? Hopefully you could drop some of the fat you gained without loosing all the gains you made?

Gotta love that statement.

Best damn peice of advice i’ve seen in a long while, and seemingly forgotten by many.

Great post.

Phill

I have never eaten over 500 calories per day over maintenance and, therefore, have never had to cut. IMO, slow is better. Anybody can gain fat.

I agree with Phill; that was a very good post by Patricia. It seems everyone around here bags on newbies because they don’t know everything that’s ever been written in T-mag; I could care less. What erks me is when somebody won’t just try something. Kids act like they’re gonna die if they do this program or that program. Just try it, and if it dosn’t work, move on. Simple as that.

And dude, that was NOT a stupid question. It was a unique idea that got shot down by some very smart and knowledgeable people; so what. It only would have been stupid if you ignored and refuted the advise given because it hurt your pride.

To help you out a little, though, do a search for Marc Mcdougal’s pic. I think the thread was called ‘progress,’ or something like that. It’s a pretty long thread, but it’s got some really good info that could help you attain your goals.

Peace,
Ryan

Patricia: No flame inferred. Actually my first reaction when I saw who had answered was “Holy shit! Look who read my question!” I do reread articles on a regular basis but I think I’m rather biased towards routines/techniques and conveniently ignoring diet and eating. I’ll go back and do my homework.

DJS: Yep, it was the ABCDE thing that got me thinking. I usually fade about Week #3 when it comes to diet so I figured it changing it about then would keep things going. I had already seen the results but I thought there might be a way around it.

Ryan: What you said.

And thanks all for posting and reposting.